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How To Clean A Water Cooler- Cleaning A Water Cooler Couldn't Be Easier - Don't Use Your Water Cooler Until You Read

Updated on March 8, 2014
Another important reason to clean your water cooler.
Another important reason to clean your water cooler.

Water Cooler Quiz

Do you know how to clean a water cooler?

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Getting water right from your water cooler is convenient. The cost of clean water is worth the money and so is your family. Having a water cooler that dispenses water hot or cold with the security of knowing what your drinking is priceless.

Many people opt to buy a water cooler to save money on their daily water bottle purchases; but neglect to think about how the water system works. The very same water cooler that dispenses your clean water can be the very reason for viruses and sniffling noses.

Do you know you had to clean your water cooler?

Many of us have drank from water or drink dispensers and never gave a though about the last time it was cleaned. Water dispensers are all around us and even in our homes and many have been used for months or years without a thought of being cleaned.

Water coolers have elements that are warm and tubes that carry water; this combination is a playing ground for bacteria growth.

I know some may be intrigued about what they weren't aware of and some are just learning how important it is to clean their water cooler. No worries we are in this together.

What are pathogens?

Studies show that there are more bacteria found in water coolers than tap water. Simple neglect can cause nasty bacteria to breed in water coolers by water sitting between refills and improper cleanings. The reasoning is damp areas breed disease-causing organisms called pathogens.

Pathogens can be:

  • viruses
  • protozoa
  • bacteria

Waterborne pathogens cause diseases such as:

  • hepatitis
  • giardiasis

The Truth

The truth is bacteria grow fast in any place there is moisture. Just think of any damp area you may have seen mold.

  • bathrooms
  • basements

What you Need to Know about your Water Cooler

A slimey residue in your water cooler tubing called biofilm slime will be produced if your machine is not cleaned and bacteria is allowed to grow. When this happens, you are literally drinking bacteria ridden water and the growth of bacteria goes up every day; exposing you to health risk.

The most important thing you should know about your water cooler is how to clean it. Having one in your house is convenient and economical; but neglecting to clean it can mean health risk to you and your family.

How to Clean Your Water Cooler

Clean your water cooler every 6 weeks or after every bottle change

The first thing you have to do before putting in your new water bottle is clean the inside and outside of your water cooler. Mix a cap of bleach into a gallon of water to kill bacteria. Wash all parts in soapy warm water, sit in water bleach mix for 2 minutes, than rinse. Use cloth and bleach water mix to wipe down machine well before returning parts and adding new water.

Needed Supplies

  • 2 Caps of household bleach.
  • lint free rag.
  • 3 gallons of water.
  • 1 gallon plus bucket.
  • 2" paint brush


  1. Unplug your machine and empty all water from each spicket.
  2. Depending on your water dispensers design you may be able to remove water cooler top that water bottle fits in and the
  3. Pour a gallon of water and 1 cap of bleach into the water cooler and allow to sit for 2 minutes or so. Be sure to let a little out to clean each outlet.
  4. Remove water spickets by twisting them counter clockwise to get them off. (Righty tighty lefty loosy)
  5. Wash all loose parts and water reservoir in front with soapy water.
  6. Sit in bleach water mix for 5 minutes.
  7. Empty all water out of the machine an repeat.
  8. Clean the outside of the machine well with a lint free damp cloth and use the paint brush too remove dust on the back.
  9. Replace parts and add water.
  10. Toss out a cup of water from each spicket. (Do not drink.)
  11. Taste water from each spicket. Remove another cup if needed..
  12. Enjoy!

According to your water cooler design you may have to alter how you take apart your machine. You can always Google instructions on cleaning your brand water cooler.

Hopefully you can see the importance of keeping your water cooler nice and clean. Water is too expensive to contaminate it yourself by ignorance. You no longer have to drink water that may be dirtier than tap water by only making a few changes.

I personally will clean my water cooler once a month and more often and anytime after it has been sitting.


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    • Elearn4Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Darlene Matthews 

      4 years ago

      Thanks MsDora. When you see the slime that builds up you will stop drinking soda from the dispensers.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Revealing and useful. Thank you for this important eye opener.


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